Every now and then, you need to cut people out of your life. Friends, family, work colleagues, and lovers — if they are toxic to your life, they’ve got to go. This doesn’t mean they become dead to you, it means that you need to put some more distance between them and yourself.
After all, you aren’t obligated to suffer for anyone else. I want to be clear that I’m talking about those bringing an immense amount of pain to your life and not someone who simply disagrees with you.
We’re going to break down some of the most common signs that it’s time to create some distance. Obviously you should try and work on these issues if you care about the other person, but if there isn’t hope for repair, then you need to look after yourself. It isn’t the least bit noble to suffer for others no matter what you’ve been told.
1.) They get in the way of your goals.
Imagine that you wanted to diet, but your significant other or family or friends kept making fun of your choice, using peer pressure in order to pressure you eat foods you didn’t want to, and were just being unsupportive all-around. Why keep them in your life? At the very least, why keep them in your life while you are trying to diet? Take a break from them until you’ve achieved your goal if they aren’t conductive to it. But remember who you’re continuously around molds your mind on what behaviors are acceptable. So before you re-engage ask yourself; do you want to live their life? If the answer is no, why invite them back in?
2.) They always gossip about you.
There’s no reason to hang around with individuals who talk about you behind your back relentlessly to the point of it causing you pain. They have a bone to pick, are envious, projecting shadows, or whatever their schtick is—and are being toxic as a result. Notice I didn’t say they are toxic, but rather that they are behaving in a way that is harmful to your psychological wellbeing, which is toxic.
3.) They minimize your accomplishments.
It doesn’t matter what it is, if you are proud of what you’ve done, then positive people should be supportive. If they just put you down or talk about how they are better, time to go…
4.) They downplay or overshadow your feelings.
If they invalidate your feelings or use it as an opportunity to talk about their own problems, it’s time to distance. Similarly, if they don’t respect your emotional boundaries, they have no reason to be around you. Boundaries are not up for someone else to decide if they are valid.
5.) They push you to think like they do.
Context: if this is done in a mutually beneficial way, such as the molding of a mind by a mentor, that’s good. We are talking about if someone is intolerant of your views and pressures you to change them to conform with their own beliefs, instead of taking the more rational approach of understanding that people don’t always agree upon everything, and that’s okay. It’s what makes life more interesting.
6.) They don’t support you.
Why keep someone around who aren’t supportive of you? You know who these people are. If they are refusing to support your goals ask yourself why? Have you articulated how important your goals are and they still degrade all your choices? First, remember that people’s discouragement usually is a direct reflection of their beliefs and fear—and not your limitations. Second, if they are constantly instilling doubt in your desires and needs, without respect to your requests for them to back off, it’s time for them to go.
7.) When people expect you to do all the work.
Relationships are mutual, whether it’s work or your personal life. You can’t pull the entire relationship cart by yourself. One sided relationships are exhausting.
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